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Taking apart the HTC Hero for Sprint (Android) Phone

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Picture of Taking apart the HTC Hero for Sprint (Android) Phone
This is a disassembly guide for the HTC Hero (Android) for Sprint.

It only goes so far as necessary to swap out the front section of the phone to fix a broken screen.

I'm opting to fix this myself altho the phone is covered by insurance because the insurance deductible is $100 and the spare part on eBay is only $50.

If I wanted to be even cheaper, I could just cover the screen in a piece of clear packaging tape and continue using it indefinitely.  The functionality of the phone is still intact.

 
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Step 1: The problem

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OHNOS!  I dropped it on the driveway.

It's still operational, but sharper than it was.

The positive take -- it's a good excuse to do surgery on my new(ish) phone!

Step 2: Tools

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I enthusiastically recommend these two tools available from Home Depot for taking apart electronics.  One is a combo phillips and slotted head (also great for fixing eyeglasses) and the other is Torx (which also is great for hex applications).

They both include very tiny screwdriver heads for very fine work.  I've never run into anything that was too small to use these on.

When you first buy them, try rubbing a neo magnet on the tips to make the screws stay on against gravity.  It doesn't take much magnetism to make your work a lot easier.

Step 3: Remove back cover

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This first step is the same procedure you would go through to change the battery, swap out the SD card, or check your serial number.

Just slide the back cover up with your palm and then lift it straight off.

Step 4: Remove battery

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Take out the battery and the SD card.

Step 5: Remove four torx screws

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You know, with the torx screwdriver.

HINT:  If you're very disorganized or you're planning on leaving the thing apart for several days, immediately put the screws back in the holes they came from after you separate the parts.  It's a little bit of extra work, but it'll keep the tiny screws from getting mixed up or lost on the floor.  This is a good rule of thumb whenever you're taking stuff apart.

Step 6: Release the tiny plastic clips

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Begin in the center at the top with a tiny straight screwdriver.

Move down the sides with a little bigger tip until just the bottom is connected, using these images to locate where the clips are.  Be gentle!

We will handle separating the bottom in the next step.

Step 7: Release bottom two clips

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Like so.  Slide the back piece down over the charging jack and it will come off.  Set the back aside.

Step 8: Remove the mother board

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Release the two tiny phillips head screws toward the bottom of the mother board.

Also release the two ribbons which are connecting the mother board to the front piece of the phone.  They are held on with friction and will snap back on again later.

I found a little bit of resistance pulling the pieces apart now, possibly from tape on one of the ribbons.  I would ordinarily say be careful not to tear or damage the ribbons, but in this case they're attached to the part we're throwing away.

Lift the mother board off of the front piece of the phone and set aside.

Step 9: If the trackball falls out

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At this point the trackball is free to fall out of the phone front.

To put it back, position the phone off the edge of the work table, put the bezel in first and then put the trackball in with the two plastic pins oriented horizontally.  I believe it is oriented correctly up-and-down as shown in the picture.

Step 10: All done, reverse steps to reassemble

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This was as far as I needed to go to fix my broken screen.  The replacement part I purchased on eBay consisted of the entire front piece of the phone, including fascia.

If you need to hack apart the front fascia to get to the raw screen component, then you're on your own from here.

I hope this repair guide was useful to you.  It's so simple that it might be an exercise in pointing out the obvious, but how were you to know how easy it was if you've never taken it apart?  Now you can void your warranty with total confidence!

I <3 comments!  Especially nice ones!

Wow I am astonished to find out that we all have had this same problem happen to us!
Thanks a LOT!!!!! This was a very simple to follow instructable = )
Fortunately I didn't have to purchase a new screen, I was able to use the screen from another HTC hero 2 phone that I replaced a few months ago using the warranty. This fix it cost me $0.00 out of pocket at this time, who could beat that?!?!? Just a suggestion to others out there......When possible keep your old phone, you never know when/if it will come in handy as spare parts!
Thanks again!!!!!!
mugerunk4 years ago
This was awesome! I replaced my screen in 20 minutes with minimal problems. I spent 50 bucks on the screen and repaired it myself with ease! Thanks!!
Nakira095 years ago
After doing all of this how do I actually get the screen itself out to put the replacement one???
I just did the same thing... ugh. My glass came with a different adhesive. I tried to scrape all the old foam/glue stuff off. All you could do was just force the old glass off and slide the ribbon gently through the slot in the in plastic frame.
brighterfusion (author)  Nakira095 years ago
Well, as I said in the Instructable, my replacement part consisted of the whole front part of the phone, so I didn't need to tear apart the fascia to get at the separate screen parts. I'm sorry I can't help you any further in the process.
junits155 years ago
I hope and there will be android phones for AT&T soon!
try the fuze its alot better
axmuzaffar5 years ago
 @Brighterfusion: I really appreciate this tutorial and your feedback. I was able to buy the whole front part/replacement kit from ebay ($59.99). The tools you advised from Home Depot were all that was needed. Thank you so much for making this process easy. Now I am up and running. I just wish I was able to save the white sticker on one of the screws. Obviously, my warranty is voided now. But great work and thanks again.
brighterfusion (author)  axmuzaffar5 years ago
Thanks so much for your note!  It's really nice to hear that the work I put into the Instructable was a concrete help to somebody out there.  Thanks for letting me know it worked out for you!  And now you've got a couple of really handy screwdrivers for taking apart the rest of your tech toys...
jamn4245 years ago
Link to the facia purchase or the exact name would be cool.   Have same issue.
brighterfusion (author)  jamn4245 years ago
Hi!  Thanks for your question.  I bought it from the eBay seller doctorwatsonsclinic, but looking at his store today, I don't see that part listed.  Sorry!  Good luck with your repair.
How much did you pay for your repair kit?
brighterfusion (author)  axmuzaffar5 years ago
$49.99 with free shipping.
axmuzaffar5 years ago
 What part did you buy from ebay? I have the same issue but don't know if I need to buy touchscreen digitizer or lcd glass?
brighterfusion (author)  axmuzaffar5 years ago
Hi!  Thanks for your question.  I bought it from the eBay seller doctorwatsonsclinic, but looking at his store today, I don't see that part listed.  Sorry!  Good luck with your repair.
 What was the name of the part you ordered? Thanks for a quick reply.
 Did you order touch screen digitizer or lcd display? (My hero fell and the outer glass is broken. All the functionality is there.) 
brighterfusion (author)  axmuzaffar5 years ago
It was the whole front face of the phone -- both the digitizer and the display.  Take a look at the pics in the instructable!  You can see.
brighterfusion (author)  axmuzaffar5 years ago
HTC HERO LCD & TOUCH SCREEN REPLACEMENT KIT
Fazulka5 years ago
Easy!